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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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country as to assert positively, not only that the course of the river tad
changed, but that the change had taken place quite recently.   His words are
as follows:" At Clieka Sera "  (by which he must intend the Shahganj sarae,
then recently built) " may be seen one of iiie largest pagodas in all India.    Con-
nected with it is a hospital for monkeys, not only for those that are ordinarily
on the spot, but also for -any that may -come from the surrounding country,
and Hindus are employed to feed them.   This pagoda is called Matura, and
%vas once held in much greater veneration by the heathen than it is now;
the reason being  that the Jamuna used  to flow at its foot,  and so the
Hindus3 whether natives, or strangers who had com-e from a distance on a
pilgrimage for purposes of devotion, had facilities for batKing in the river
both before they entered the pagoda and -also before eating when they went
away.   For they must not eat without bathing, and they believe that their
sins are best effaced by a dip in flowing w^ter.   But for some years past
the river BUS taken a turn to the north, and now flows at the distance of a
kos or more ; whence it comes about that the shrine is less frequented by pil-
grims than it used to be.'*
The third of the principal Buddhist sites is the vicinity of the katra. Here,
at the back of the temple of Bhutesvar Maliadeva, is rather a high hill of very
limited area? on the top of which stood, till removed by the writer, a Buddhist
pillar of unusually large dimensions. It is carved in front with a female
figure, nearly life-size, bearing an umbrella, and above her head is a grotesque
bas-relief representing two monkeys,, a bird, and a misshapen human dwarf.
Immediately opposite the temple is a large ruinous tank, called Balbhadra
Kund, with a skirting wall, into which had been built up some good specimens
of tiie cross-bars of a Buddhist railing. From an adjoining well was recovered
a plain pillar neasuring four feet seven inches in height by eleven inches in
breadth, carved in front merely with two roses. The elliptical holes in the sides
of the pillar were too large for the cross-bars, which must have belonged to a
smaller range. They measure only one foot three inches in length, and are
enriched with various devices, such as a rose, a lotus, some winged monster
&c. These were eleven in number : fear of the most perfect were taken awav
by General Cunningham, the rest are still in situ. Built into the verandah
of a cJiaitpdl close by were five other Buddhist pillars of elaborate design and
almost perfect preservation. It is said that there was originally a sixth, which
some years ago was sent down to Calcutta ; there it has been followed by two
more; the remaining three were left, by the writer, for the local museum.